The vocation situation is satisfactory at present. There are good number of boys and girls who are ready to dedicate their lives for Jesus. Many boys and girls are shown the way to different congregations. They are ready to do missionary work in North India and abroad. The vocation promoter of our Diocese makes regular visit to the schools. Before admitting the seminarians they are asked to attend the vocation camp. At present there are 22 in the Diocesan Minor Seminary, four of them doing their Initiation course (preliminary studies such as language and a kind of initial training) and 18 seminarians studying in the college. After their college studies they will go to Major Seminary for Philosophy and Theology. There are 33 Seminarians in the Major Seminary. Every year, Summer camp is conducted for seminarians. The seminarians are taken to one of the parishes of the Diocese where they stay for about a week, which gives a pastoral and sociological exposure for them before their ordination to the priesthood. During summer 2000 two candidates were ordained as priests for the diocese of Thanjavur.
Seminaries in the Diocese of Thanjavur
Diocesan Minor Seminary
St. Mary’ Minor Seminary VOC Nagar, Trichy Road, Thanjavur 613007, Tamil Nadu, India Phone: (04362) 36453
St. Mary’s Minor Seminary is the Diocesan Minor Seminary started on 16th June 1953 by the first Bishop of the Diocese, H.E. Rt. Rev.Dr. R.A. Sundaram. Realising the urgent need for priests, the first Bishop started the seminary within three months after he took charge of the Diocese, in a rented building. It was shifted to the present campus in 1957 which was an old building used as Bishop’s house. Now the seminary needs new building. This Seminary is the proud Alma Mater of 176 priests of whom 163 are now in active service in the Diocese and elsewhere. We are proud to mention that the present Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose is an illustrious alumnus of this Minor Seminary.
We have at present 54 Seminarians Studying and undergoing formation at various stages.
Seminarians studying undergraduate courses, stay either at home or in the Hostel attached to the college according to whatever is convenient for them. Though in principle, they are expected to meet the expenses of studies, in practice the Diocese has to bear all the expenses as most of the Seminarians, if not all, hail from poor families. Moreover we do not want money to hamper vocations.
Candidates who have successfully completed the Higher Secondary course are admitted for the initiation course. After the formal applications with due recommendation of the Parish Priests are received, we invite the candidates for a vocation camp when we watch them closely while giving them right motivation and proper orientation. On the basis of our observation and the strength of the reports, candidates are selected for a year long Initiation course. English, Fundamentals of Spiritual Life, Introduction to Scriptures, Church History, Sacred Music are some of the subjects taught during Initiation course.
Besides daily spiritual exercises such as morning & evening prayers, meditation, spiritual reading, examination of Conscience, Eucharistic celebration etc., the seminarians have regular weekly spiritual conferences, monthly recollection and Annual Retreat. The Monthly Recollection and Annual Retreat is attended also by Seminarians studying in colleges and those doing regency. The Priests incharge take turns to conduct guided meditation while taking care to initiate them into different kinds of meditation.
Once a year we arrange an exposure programme in one of the parishes of the Diocese when the Seminarians get a chance to see the real life of people and the problems priests face in the field of ministry.
We are very grateful to all the benefactors who help us in our efforts to form future priests. We appreciate their spirit of charity and generosity while praying to the Lord that He may reward them with a hundred fold for the sacrifices they make. On our part, we pray for all of them daily during the visit to the Blessed Sacrament and offer the Rosary once a week. Once a month, I offer a Mass for the Benefactors when all the Seminarians join me in offering the Mass.
Religious Houses of Formation
- Don Bosco (Salesians)
Yagappa Nagar, Thanjavur 613007, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: (04362) 56664
- Carmel Ahram (OCD)
Nirmala Nagar, Pudukkottai Road, Thanjavur 613007, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: (04362) 38457
- MSFS Minor Seminary (Missionary Society of St. Francis De Sales)
Thirukokaranm, Kovilpatty Road, Pudukkottai Dt. 622 002
Phone: (04322) 22198
- Servite Illam (Servite Fathers)
367 Yagappa Chavadi, Keelavasthachavadi P.O., Mela Ulur via, Thanjavur 614904
Phone: (04362) 77217
- SMMI House of Formation (Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate)
- Bon Secours Novitiate
- Jesus Convent (Novitiate)